MAKING THE DIVE TO BRING DOWN a Connally ball carrier, and causing a fumble, is Fairfield Eagle #4, Avery Archibald (above), during last week’s victory game.
The Fairfield Eagles scored twice in the fourth quarter and took a road win for the second time in three weeks. They take sole possession of first place in District 9-4A Division II play.
Fairfield has become one of the toughest teams to get ahead of and they continue get the lead and keep it throughout or remain in position to win. They have played for the top spot in all three games and have won all three. They now go from the hunter to the hunted.
It did not start the way the Eagle game plan wanted. The ball was loose inside the Eagle 20-yard line and Shelby Lee recovered and gave the Cadets the ball at the Fairfield 13. It took three plays, all runs by Javion Sunday, the last for a one-yard push and the Cadets led 7-0.
Fairfield took the kickoff and began their first of five long drives on the night. The Eagles reached the Cadet 19-yard line in ten plays and the drive stalled. Tyler Haynes lined up for a 36-yard field goal. The kick was blocked and Connally took over.
The Eagles forced a punt and went back to work. Ten more plays sent the offense from the Fairfield 18 to the Cadet 44, but the Eagles had to punt.
Connally fumbled and Fairfield took over at the Cadet 40. Quarterback Chad Rushin passed to Kolbe Branch for a 14-yard gain and then to Avery Archibald to convert a fourth down at the Cadet 11-yard line. On third and three from the four, Hudson scored on the run and the Eagles had a chance to tie the game. The kick was blocked, and the Cadets held onto a 7-6 lead at the half.
The Eagles took the second half kickoff and put points on the board to take the lead.
Archibald caught a 35 yard pass down the Cadet 13-yard line. The offense got to the three-yard line and Ladarius Walker finished the seven-play drive on the three-yard touchdown run. Rushin ran it in for two points for the Eagle 14-7 lead.
Both offenses stepped aside, and the defenses shined for the next several minutes. Sunday added a two-yard run early in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 14-14.
Connally could not move against the Eagle defense and had to punt. Fairfield began their most impressive drive of the night. It took 14 plays and nearly seven minutes off the clock. Walker converted a key third down and an off-sides penalty to move the chains. Rushin hit Archibald on the sideline for a 24-yard completion and another to Adams for 15 yards inside the 20-yard line. On second down from the 14, Rushin passed to Walker on the screen pass and he dodged a defender and raced into the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown. Haynes added the point after for the 21-14 lead.
The Cadet offense took the ball at the 30-yard line to try and tie the score but on the first play of the drive, JaShaughn Hatcher had the ball hit him in the hands and he sprinted 25 yards for the interception return to seal the game at 28-14.
Fairfield continues to lead the district race at 3-0 and Connally and Salado are 2-1. Lorena and Mexia are 1-2 and the Blackcats hold the tiebreaker for the fourth playoff spot currently. Robinson is in the last position at 0-3.
The Fairfield Eagles will travel to rival Mexia in an important district contest. Robinson heads to Salado and Connally plays at Lorena.